Homegrown is the ‘baby’ of Jude Dobson. It’s her production vehicle for things that are important to her – either on her own or with a team she’s put together – be it writing, producing, directing, consulting, presenting, or event managing. When her daily lifestyle show 5.30 with Jude she anchored for five years was not renewed at the end of 2001, she decided the time was ripe to produce content she felt passionate about, so set up a production company to do so.
She wanted a name that...
Resonated with the sort of content she wanted to make
Was true to her own values
Reflected how a company might operate
The original content niche was to be about subjects that related to what it took to raise a family – something she was living every day as a mother of two children – soon to be three in 2003. Children were ‘grown’ in a home, so the fit was good.
She also knew that what happened at home was key in a young child’s life. The first 1000 days – conception to age 2 is a formative period that sets a child up for life – when their ‘blueprint’ as such for the adult they would become was set down, as their neural pathways connected. This knowledge and passion on this area came through her background as a registered nurse before getting ‘side tracked’ into television, being on the Parents as First Teachers (PAFT) programme with her first born (1995 – 1998), her own ongoing research and reading, and time (ultimately six years, three as Chair) on the Board of Trustees at her children’s local public primary school.
And lastly, this was not to be a venture based out of a flash office in the city. It was to be home based (‘home’ grown), employing other parents in early projects who were also busy with their children, but passionate about getting good info out to other parents in the visual medium. The production needed to be flexible so people could be with their children when needed and work the hours round their needs - a family friendly environment first and foremost. So an office at Jude’s home was the starting point, with desks and edit facilities added as production grew. Directors and writers could connect in from their offices at their homes too – very often in a late evening burst of work after the children were in bed!
Homegrown has been Jude’s vehicle to make a myriad of content since 2002 – some production based contracting a team of others – be it for docos, series, or commercials…or for her own writing, presenting, producing, directing and consulting work. Most of the broadcast commissioned work has sold offshore and enjoyed diverse international audiences.